Working Together: A Guide for Teams (12-11-19)

Dai and Boos studied interdisciplinary team collaborations, similar to those many designers participate in, and make recommendations for increasing these groups’ effectiveness in an article available free of charge at the website noted below.  Their write-up includes very effective diagrams detailing team interactions.  The Dai/Boos team reports that they identified “two distinct patterns of knowledge integration. . . . The first, which we refer to as the theory-method interdisciplinary collaborative pattern, involves one party providing a theoretical understanding, and the other offering methods for collecting and analysing the data. . . . .The second pattern, namely the technical interdisciplinary collaborative pattern, occurs when interdisciplinary collaborations are established to merely share the participants’ respective technological approaches or assets, such as a particular algorithm or a loaned microscope. In this pattern, a single shared scientific concept may be the only interface between two disciplines necessary to establish an interdisciplinary collaboration project.”  To optimize collaboration Dai and Boos suggest “Have a kick-off meeting to set goals and rules for collaboration. . . . Identify the right tools for the collaboration. . . .  Combine collaborative patterns. . . . Facilitate project assessments.”

Lianghao Dai and Margarete Boos.  2019. “Mapping the Right Fit for Knowledge Sharing:  Practical Tips for Effective Interdisciplinary Collaborations.”  Nature, https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-03558-5